Sid had gained his name because of his unusual [for a soldier] fashion sense - he wore ankle-length fur coats, flowery shirts and had brightly coloured scarves tied round his neck and wrists. He invited me to listen to a track on his record player which he played very loudly. It was I Ain't Superstitious' played by Jeff Beck. It was a remarkable performance and changed my life!
A week later, I was home on Leave in England and visited my usual Gentlemen's outfitters for some new clothes. The shop assistant couldn't believe it and . . . neither could my Mother! I returned wearing a bright yellow tie and dye grandad vest, flared jeans, purple suede boots and a bright yellow imitation leather jacket. Peace, Man! Later, I bought some knee length, fringed boots [like Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull wore].
Within a short time, I went from someone who would spend his quiet hours studying the lives of the Amerindian people in the Amazon rainforest to an attendee of rock concerts. What joy - Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and more.
I met up with Sid at a base in England three years later. He treated me and some friends to tickets to see a live performance of Tommy performed by the Who and many Superstars of the time at the Rainbow (Finsbury Park Astoria) in London. Those were the days. Picture 1 (below) shows me at the time. Wasn't I thin? The other shows me in my newly acquired Civil Defence greatcoat which was all the rage at the time and cost a few pounds in a military surplus store. The song that changed my life is described in more detail HERE. Enjoy!